In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the conserved phosphatase Cdc14 is required for the exit from mitosis. It is anchored on nucleolar chromatin by the Cfi1/Net1 protein until early anaphase, at which time it is released into the nucleoplasm. Two poorly understood, redundant pathways promote Cdc14 release, the FEAR (Cdc fourteen early release) network and the MEN (mitotic exit network). Through the analysis of genetic interactions, we report here a novel requirement for the ubiquitination of histone H2B by the Bre1 ubiquitin ligase in the cell cycle-dependent release of Cdc14 from nucleolar chromatin when the MEN is inactivated. This function for H2B ubiquitination is mediated by its activation of histone H3 methylation on lysines 4 and 79 (meH3K4 and meH3K79) but, surprisingly, is not dependent on the histone deacetylase (HDAC) Sir2, which associates with Cdc14 on nucleolar chromatin as part of the RENT complex. We also observed a defect in Cdc14 release in cells lacking H3 lysine 36 methylation (meH3K36) and in cells lacking an HDAC recruited by this modification. These histone modifications represent previously unappreciated factors required for the accessibility to and/or action on nucleolar chromatin of FEAR network components. The nonredundant role for these modifications in this context contrasts with the notion of a highly combinatorial code by which histone marks act to control biological processes.
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